Wednesday, August 03, 2011

The Best-ever Opening to a novel


How to Draw a Picture

Start with a blank surface. It doesn't have to be paper or canvas, but I feel it should be white. We call it white because we need a word, but its true name is nothing. Black is the absence of light, but white is the absence of memory, the color of can't remember.

How do we remember to remember? You have to establish the horizon. You have to mark the white. A simple enough act, you might say, but any act that re-makes the world is heroic.

Imagine a little girl, hardly more than a baby. She fell from a carriage almost ninety years ago, struck her head on a stone, and forgot everything. Not just her name; everything! And then one day she recalled just enough to pick up a pencil and make the first hesitant mark across the white. A horizon line, sure. But also a slot for the blackness to pour through.

Still, imagine that small hand lifting the pencil ... hesitating ... and then marking the white. Imagine the courage of that first effort to re-establish the world by picturing it.
I will always love that little girl, in spite of all she has cost me. I must. I have no choice.

Pictures are magic, as you know.

2 comments:

Cristina said...

you are right.. that is an AWESOME opening! I love King :)

Dreamcatcher said...

welcome to the club :) i'm a huge fan too